BALANCING AUDIO

On Campus Objectives

•Signal flow •Line level •Mic level • •Gain staging •Balancing input and output •Calculating input gain Signal Flow •Starts with source •Transducer •Preamp stage •Amplifies signal (mic or line) •A/D conversion •Processing •Routing Signal Flow

•D/A conversion •To amps •Speakers •Listeners

Mic Input Level

•The voltage of signal generated by a is the lowest or weakest level •Requires a preamplifier to bring it up to line level •-60 to -50 dBu (.001 to .002 V) Line Input Level

•Line level signals are the highest level signal before amplification. •The type of signal that flows through the system after the preamp stage •The two types of line levels are consumer and professional •+4 dBu or -10 dBV Line Input Level

•0 dBu = .775

•+4 dBu = 1.23 volts

•-10 dBV = .316 volts or 316 mV

•Mic -60 to -50 dBu (.001 to .002 V) Instrument Input Level

•Instrument level falls between mic level and line level •Output level of an instrument usually guitar or bass •A preamp is required to bring the signal up to line level Speaker Level •Speaker level signals are post amplification •Signal is much higher in voltage than line level, requires speaker cable

Example •1,000 feeding an 8- load would require an 89.4 level Decibels

•Five flavors of Decibels •dB – relative value •dBu – measured in volts •dBV – measured in volts •dBFS – Full Scale digital •dB-SPL – Sound Level of output in the Decibels

or dB •Logarithmic ratio between two values •Used in audio •Dimensionless Value •Relationship between two numbers •Or comparing amplitude of two audio signals Decibels

•Amplitude is the same 0 dB apart •6 dB increase is a doubling of amplitude •Another 6 dB is a four times increase in amplitude •Turn up 60 dB is 1000 times increase dBu and dBV

•dBu and dBV •Measurable value •Measured in voltage •0 dBu is our optimal output level dBu and dBV

•0 dBu = 0.775 V

•+4 dBu = 1.23 V

•0 dBV = 1 V

•-10 dBV = 0.316 V (316 mV)

dBFS •dBFS – decibel relative to full scale •Full Scale, or max output level •Used to measure digital audio signal levels •Dimensionless value, can’t be converted directly to a voltage. •0 dBFS clipping point in digital audio •Varies depending on manufacturer dB-SPL

•SPL – Signal Pressure Level

in the atmosphere

•SPL Meter SPL Levels

•Quiet room = 38-40 dB-SPL •Room with air handler = 45-50 dB-SPL •Conversation = 66-70 dB-SPL, 1 meter •Sound system preforms best at 30 dB above ambient noise

Gain Staging

•Foundation of audio system •Must be set right •Looking for 30 dB-SPL above ambient noise •SPL Meter •0 dBu or .775 volts output Mic Input Gain

•Handheld Vocals = 35 dB minimum

•Handheld Presentation = 45 dB

•Gooseneck mic = 45 dB

•Boundary mic = 55 dB

•Farther away = 60 dB+ Input

•Normal conversation dB-SPL is around 65 to 70 dB-SPL

•Presenter is around 78 dB-SPL

•Most preamps provide 60 dB of gain

•Inverse square law Reverse Square Law

•1 meter (3 feet) talking 66 dB-SPL •.5 meter (18 inches) talking 72 dB-SPL •.25 meter (9 inches) talking 78 dB-SPL Pascal

•Unit of Pressure or

Mic Sensitivity •1 Pa = 94 dB-SPL Mixer Specifications

Microphone Sensitivity

•The standard reference SPL is a 1,000Hz tone at 94 dB-SPL at the mic capsule. •94 dB-SPL equals 1 Pascal •Sensitivity is expressed as the mic's output voltage in at either 1 Pascal or 94 dB-SPL •The notation used may vary depending on microphone Manufacturer

Calculating Input Gain

•Level at mic •Mic reference level •Mic sensitivity •dBV to dBu conversion •Output level = 0 dBu •Preamp gain required Calculating Input Gain

Level at mic 78 dB-SPL Mic ref level - 94 dB-SPL Mic Sensitivity + dBV dBV to dBU + 2.2 conversation Output level - 0 dBu Gain required = dB gain Mic Preamp Gain

Shure SM58 Level at mic 78 dB-SPL Mic ref level - 94 dB-SPL Mic Sensitivity + -54.5 dBV dBV to dBU + 2.2 Output level - 0 dBu Gain required = -68.3 dB

Mic Preamp Gain

Audio Technica AT871UG Level at mic 78 dB-SPL Mic ref level - 94 dB-SPL Mic Sensitivity + -33 dBV dBV to dBU + 2.2 Output level - 0 dBu Gain required = -46.8

Avixa

Balancing Audio – Chuck Espinoza Questions